PURPOSE: To verify the occurrence of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) and human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) associated uveitis (HAU) and to evaluate the immunologic status related to HTLV-1. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. METHODS: Ophthalmic examination (both eyes) and immunophenotyping of peripheral blood lymphocytes were performed in 207 infected asymptomatic blood donors (AS), 55 controls (NI), and 55 patients with HTLV-1 associated myelopathy (HAM/TSP). Examiner was masked to patient's serologic status. RESULTS: KCS was more frequent in HAM/TSP (30/55, 54.5%) than in NI and AS (07/55, 12.7% and 42/207, 20.3%, respectively). Presence of lacrimal hyposecretion in KCS individuals was higher in the HAM/TSP group (P < .001) as compared with NI and AS. HAU was found in 1/55 (1.82%) of HAM/TSP patients and 4/207 (1.93%) of HTLV-1 seropositive donors. Higher levels of activated CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells were observed in HAM/TSP. Patients with HAU displayed higher percentage of both CD4(+) HLA-DR(+) and CD8(+)HLA-DR(+) when compared with NI and AS without HAU. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with HAM/TSP manifested more ophthalmologic symptoms than asymptomatic HTLV-1-infected individuals, with significantly higher KCS and immunologic alterations. Levels of activated CD8+ T cells could be used as a prognosis marker of inflammatory disease manifestation to follow-up AS individuals
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